Five Lessons I've Learnt After 10 Years of Business

Posted on October 09 2018

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

Words by Hannah Beaumont-Laurencia.

Where to start... from my fearless and hugely ambitious 23 year old self to the grounded and more discerning 34 year old that I am today, I have certainly got some stories to tell! I'm not naive enough to think this is the end of my learning, or that all the lessons I've learnt so far are enough to make the next 10 years seamless. They have definitely shaped me and made our business strong and robust but I am still learning everyday and as the business grows to new levels, I am regularly faced with new challenges. Here's my top 'Five Lessons I've Learnt After 10 Years of Business'...

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

In the early days, we had one key account representing about 80% of the business. It seemed amazing until unfortunately, we lost most of this business due a variety of reasons and were faced with a very challenging year in which we had to build new accounts quickly to fill the deficit! 

A healthy spread of business is key; from wholesale to retail to the percentage of business you have with one account or a factory.

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

2. Reach out

Surround yourself with like minded people who can help and offer you advice. This includes asking people you don’t know for help, networking and entering awards. 

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

3. Exit any relationships on a good note (you never know when your paths will cross again!)

As the business has grown, we have revisited or recommended many other accounts and factories to others. Some factories, for example, we had left as we couldn’t reach their minimum order quantity, but they were wonderful factories and now we have grown, they are very happy to welcome us back. 
The fashion industry is very small so keeping good relationships will stand you in good stead for the future. 

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

4. Take time for yourself to restock and re-energise - you will come back a stronger person

In the early days, I hardly took a day off - let alone a holiday! I would work evenings and weekends as standard but looking back, I was completely burnt out and I’m not sure how I kept going.
Now I make time for myself, my family and my friends and I am such a better business woman for it. I can give energy to the business and staff when I am with them and restore when I am away. Condition yourself to re-energise in whatever way works for you. 

Beaumont Organic 49 Hilton Street

5. Don’t be scared to say no

Starting a business can be a little scary at first, especially with all the responsibilities and new things you need to learn! I was so driven to succeed through those early years that I never said no, even when I should have done. Whether it be a store miles away that wanted me to visit and show them the collection on a Sunday afternoon, a customer that wanted a different colour or size made just for them or a factory that wanted a price increase.You name it, I did it. 

Saying ‘no’ is the key to having some business sanity and control. You can’t please everyone all the time and your customers will respect that. 

I hope you can relate to something within this post, and that you can at least take one point away to help improve an area of your business. If you'd like to learn more about the Beaumont Organic journey and how to grow you business, you can also sign up to my 'Building A Brand With Purpose' workshop.

Thanks for reading! Hannah x


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